Despite demotion, don't give up on Rondon
March, 28, 2013
By Eric Karabell | ESPN.com
Believe it or not, and after his demotion to Triple-A Toledo late Wednesday it might be a bit hard to believe, but I still think young Detroit Tigers fireballer Bruce Rondon can lead the Tigers in saves. Rondon throws hard but tends to not know where it's headed. He's certainly not alone there, but the Tigers are primed for another World Series run and manager Jim Leyland is aware that a committee approach rarely works. He wants someone to handle the role, not a bunch of someones, and Rondon remains very much in the team's future, even if it initially will be as a Mud Hen.
For fantasy purposes, the Tigers remain the prime bullpen situation to watch as we head into the new season. It's possible right-handers Al Alburquerque and Octavio Dotel and lefties Phil Coke and Darin Downs (don't forget him) will be mixed and matched for saves in early April, but Rondon, who struggled this week on the second part of the back-to-back-days test, will be in the majors soon. The stuff and velocity is there. It also wouldn't surprise me if free agent Jose Valverde, reportedly in great shape, throwing hard and perhaps most importantly represented by ace agent Scott Boras, who usually gets his way, is brought back this week and closing by Tuesday.